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  • 210

  • 4 Art of Asia, the Americas, and Africa

    n your journey through art history, you will learn that some works of art may seem

    unfamiliar because they reflect ideas, values, and feelings that differ from your own. To understand works such as the scene pictured here, you must consider the ideas and values that characterize the unique cultures in which these artists lived and worked.

    Web Museum Tour The extensive collection at Florida’s Lowe Art Museum includes objects from China, Korea, Japan, and South Asia. Browse by region or explore artworks from a particular period or dynasty. Start your exploration in Web Museum Tours at

    Activity Enter the museum site and click on the Art of Asia link. Take the tour and discover the myths and legends behind the artworks.



    Landscape in the style of Li T’ang. Copy after Qiu Ying. c. 1494–1552. Chinese, Ming dynasty. Handscroll: Ink and color on paper. 25.4 � 306.7 cm (10 � 1203⁄4�). Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Purchase, F1939.4.

  • 212

    o you know where the Taj Mahal is located? Do you know what a Ming vase looks like? Have you ever seen a Japanese screen painting? Paint-

    ing, sculpture, and architecture evolved in different ways in the East than in the West. Religious, intellectual, and artistic achievements in India, China, and Japan formed the basis for contemporary Eastern culture. The ten cen- turies beginning in the fifth century B.C. and ending in the fifth century A.D. were an important period in both Western and Eastern civilizations.

    10 The art of india, china, and Japan

    Read to Find Out Learn about the architecture and sculpture of ancient India and the scroll painting and sculpture of China and Japan.

    Focus Activity Imagine you are an art critic evaluating the painting in Figure 10.1. Divide a piece of paper into four columns and write the answers to these art criticism questions. Description: What actions are taking place in the painting? What story does the picture tell? Analysis: What visual effect does the high viewpoint create? How are the ele- ments and principles of art used to create this effect? Interpretation: What feelings, moods, or ideas do you associate with this painting? Judgment: Do you think this is a successful work of art? Give reasons to support your judgment.

    Using the Time Line Compare images on the Time Line created in the East. What aesthetic qualities do they share with the work in Figure 10.1?


    3000 B.C. Harappan artists decorate their works with images of nature

    c. 1500 B.C. Harappan civilization vanishes

    c. 477 Standing Buddha is created during the Northern Wei dynasty

    c. 400 Hinduism experiences a revival

    1776 B.C. Shang Dynasty China

    2500 B.C.–1500 B.C. Harappan Civilization, India

    206 B.C.–A.D. 220 Han Dynasty, China

    500 B.C. Buddhism, China

    320–600 Gupta Era, India

    618–900 Tang Dynasty China

    784–1185 Heian Period, Japan

    3000 B.C. 100 B.C. B.C. A.D. A.D 500

  • 213

    1426–35 Cobalt blue glaze used in China

    1252 The Great Buddha at Kamakura, Japan Refer to the Time Line

    on page H11 in your Art Handbook for more about this period.

    1706 Torii Kiyonobu, A Woman Dancer

    c. 1500–1860 Mughal Period, India

    1185–1333 Kamakura Period, Japan

    1570–1600 Momoyama Period, Japan

    960–1279 Sung Dynasty, China

    1368–1644 Ming Dynasty, China

    ■ FIGURE 10.1 Zanbur the Spy Brings Mahiya to Tawariq, Where They Meet Ustad Khatun. Mughal, Indian. c. 1561–76. Tempera on cotton cloth, mounted on paper. 74 � 57.2 cm

    (291⁄8 � 221⁄2�). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York. Rogers Fund. 1923.

    A.D. 1000 A.D. 1500 A.D. 1800

  • Vocabulary ■ meditation ■ stupa

    Discover After completing this lesson,

    you will be able to: ■ Describe the development of

    the Hindu and Buddhist religions in India.

    ■ Explain how the Hindu and Buddhist religions influenced the architecture and sculpture of India.

    he long history of India is also the history of two great and endur- ing religions. For centuries Hinduism and Buddhism have influ-

    enced all aspects of Indian life. Nowhere is this more evident than in the art of India, the birthplace of both.

    At times these two religions vied with one another, each producing its own unique art style in architecture and sculpture. At other times the two have existed side by side, resulting in artworks that are both Hindu and Buddhist in character.

    When and how did these religions originate? How did they influence the art of India? A search for answers to these questions involves a journey back 4,500 years, to the same period when Egypt’s Old Kingdom flourished.

    The Indus Valley Civilization The modern nations of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh

    trace their cultural beginnings to the early Indian civiliza- tions. Historians now recognize that an ancient civilization once flourished on the banks of the Indus River in what is now northwest India. (See map, Figure 10.2.)

    The Harappans The Harappans, or people of the Indus Valley, gradually

    developed a way of life as far advanced as that of Egypt. They used bronze and copper technology and erected multistoried buildings made of fired bricks along streets as wide as 40 feet. The Harappans also built an efficient drainage system and developed a written language based on pictograms, or picture symbols.

    While most Harappans raised grain and vegetables in the fields surrounding their cities and towns, others made and traded small clay pottery, bronze and stone figures, and cot- ton cloth. The production of these items made the Indus Valley an important trading center.

    Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro In modern times, two important sites have been discov-

    ered: Harappa in 1856, and Mohenjo-Daro (Figure 10.3) in 1922. Excavations reveal that about 4,500 years ago a civiliza- tion rose along the 400-mile route separating these two cities. More than 70 cities, towns, and villages have been discovered; they are believed to have been part of an organized kingdom with a central government.



    The Art of India



    HIN DU K











    G H

    A TS

    EA ST

    ER N

    G H

    AT S



    Arabian Sea

    Bay of


    Ganges River

    Ind us

    R iv


    Godavari River





    MAP SKILLS ■ FIGURE 10.2 Two major Eastern religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, began in India. Buddhism spread to China and Japan. How do you think the spread of religious ideas affected the artworks created in these areas?

  • Harappan Art Many Harappan clay works (Figure 10.4)

    have been found, most of which were appar- ently made for trading purposes. Only a few small stone and bronze sculptures from Mohenjo-Daro have survived to the present day. These hint at a fully developed artistic style and provide insights into the religious beliefs of the mysterious Harappan people. Like their clay works, these sculptures indi- cate that the Harappans worshiped a great many spirits who, they believed, were found in water, trees, animals, and humans.

    Decline of the Harappan Civilization By about 2000 B.C. the Harappan civiliza-

    tion began to decline, and by 1500 B.C. it van- ished completely. Most historians believe that invaders from the northwest, known as Aryans, were largely responsible for bringing an end to the Indus Valley civilization.

    Chapter 10 The Art of India, China, and Japan 215

    ■ FIGURE 10.3 This site reveals the ruins of a carefully planned city that thrived about 4,500 years ago. What do these ruins tell you about the people who lived here?

    Mohenjo-Daro, India. c. 2500 B.C.

    ■ FIGURE 10.4 Notice the images of nature, birds, and flowers decorating this work by Harappan artists. What elements and principles of art would you discuss when analyzing this work?

    Large Painted Jar with Birds. Pakistan, Chanhu-daro. 3000 B.C. Terra cotta. 25 � 49.5 cm (93⁄4 � 191⁄2�). Charihu-daro. Chanhu- daro Expedition. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

  • The Ganges Civilization and the Rise of the Hindu Religion

    The Aryans controlled India during the thousand-year period now commonly known as the Ganges civilization. They were warrior- shepherds who relied on their cattle and sheep for livelihood. There is no evidence to suggest that the Aryans were as well organized as the Harappans were. They had no central govern- ment and were loosely organized into tribes. Each tribe was ruled by a raja, or chief, who was assisted by a council of warriors.

    Over time the Aryan religion, which recog- nized many gods and goddesses, blended with the beliefs of the Harappans to form what eventually became the national religion of India: Hinduism.

    Hinduism Hinduism was not founded on the teach-

    ings of a single person. Instead, it developed over a long period of time from a blend of sev- eral different beliefs and practices.

    The Hindu believe there are three primary processes in life and in the universe: creation, preservation, an